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Thread: A Healers Guide: The Basics

  1. #1
    Plane Touched Paladin's Avatar
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    Default A Healers Guide: The Basics

    Wrote up the following guide for my Fansite I am building, figured I would put it out here to spread the love and see if my fellow healers had any input on it. I put this in the clerics forums yesterday, and had it suggested to repost it out here for more public display, so apologies if I shouldn't have posted the same thread twice, just wanted to put it in a place other healers would have a chance to see it.


    So You Want To Be A Healer Huh?


    Well I am here to try to give you a basic idea of what you need to know in order to determine if A: You have the right mentality for it, and B: Have any idea WTF you’re doing! This article will endeavor to cover the basic precepts of healing, terminology you will need to be familiar with, some basic Do’s and Don’ts, and the expectations you have to live up to! So, this being said, let’s get started!

    Healing Terminology:

    This is pretty basic and most of us have heard a lot of these before, but the following are terms you will need to be aware of.

    HoT: Heal over Time, these are spells which may or may not provide an immediate burst of health, but will regularly tick over a certain lifespan for a steady rate of health regeneration.

    DoT: Opposite of HoT, this is a Damage over Time effect. If you see this on someone and you can’t cleanse/remove it then a good fix is to put a good HoT on them along with perhaps a quick straight healing spell to get them through it.

    Threat Generation: Yes that’s right, playing nurse pisses those mean ole mobs off! On average you will generate around 50% of the healing you do in threat, so it should be low enough to keep you safe. BUT, if you’re a genius who decides to drop a massive heal on the tank as he is charging his first mob in a pull before he has time to gain aggro on that darlins friends, well you are gonna have yourself one hell of a picnic with the friends you just made!

    AoE Heals: Just like AoE dmg, these are heals which heal all allies within a certain radius of your target. The Sentinel in particular uses these and will force you to be aware of how spread out your party is.

    Adds: If you hear this word on vent/TS, or read it in chat, get your big boy healer pants on, cuz this means someone pulled extra mobs and you will likely be seeing a sudden burst of life loss across the board, unless your tank is skilled enough to pick them up, then you will just see his lifebar start to disappear faster then a fat kid gobbling a twinkie if you don’t start spamming your heals!

    LoS: Line of Sight, EXTREMELY important to make certain that you ALWAYS have a straight shot to your tank! Sometimes the lil darlins will go wandering off and find themselves behind pillars, or trees, or corners, and you have to go save them from themselves!

    Burst Damage: A swift and sudden explosion of damage, going from full health to ¾ health in no time flat. If you hear someone say that a boss has an attack that causes burst damage, this will mean you have to be constantly spamming those heals, even if the tank looks like he has full health, because by the time that heal goes off, the health bars may tell a different story!

    AoE: Area of Effect, a lot of bosses in games will do attacks that deal steady damage to anyone within a certain area. Knowing this going into a fight is a great benefit to a healer, because it lets you know that you can expect your party to suddenly start taking damage, and this gives you time to prepare the proper responses to that!

    Aggro Drop: Havn’t seen this yet in Rift, but it has been in “other MMO’s” this is where a boss, or mob, will be able to suddenly ignore the aggro the tank has built up, and start charging off after other targets. If you learn a boss or mob has this trait, be ready to swiftly alter your heal targets, because you won’t be able to count on the tank to take all the dmg from these folks!


    More may be added at a later date if I think of or have brought to my attention more terminology healers should be aware of. Watch for updates!


    Precepts of Healing, WTF am I doing?

    Ok if you honestly don’t know what healing is, then why are you here, huh? Just **** now, cuz you won’t make it as a healer! Those losers gone? Yes? Good, ok now that it’s just us smart people left reading this, lets move along shall we? What do I do as a healer? Well that is self evident, you heal people, but here is perhaps a bit more in depth description of that.

    Healing is one of the three basic roles of a party, with the other two being tanking and DPSing. It is widely acknowledged that along with tanking, healing is the hardest job to take on, which is why you always see those people in local shouting “LF1M Healer then G2G!” for 40 minutes straight! It can be a hard, stressful, thankless job at times, and I have seen a lot of beginning healers burn out after a couple bad runs. But if you stick to it, learn how to heal, find a quality tank, and some killer DPS that know their ****, then healing is extremely rewarding.

    As healer, you get to feel like the cornerstone holding the whole foundation of the party together! You are the one who makes it so the tank survives through that hard hitting boss, you are the one who mashes buttons and pulls out all the stops to keep the entire party standing when one idiot dpser pulls a second set of mobs and forces the tank to scramble to tank two pulls at once. You have the power of life and death! You choose who to save and who to let die!

    But don’t let this go to your head! You are still just one leg of the tripod! Without that tank, you would find yourself swiftly turned into healer jelly on two slices of dps bread! And without those DPSers, you will run out of mana long before a tank manages to kill a boss, resulting in a slow, painful death! You may have a stressful job, and you may get to have the pleasure of feeling like a NEEDED part of a party, but don’t forget that the rest of the party plays an important role in a dungeon/raid as well! There is no I in TEAM after all.

    Healer DO’S:

    1: Do know your ****. Don’t walk into a fight with no idea what you are doing, make certain you research raid content, know if there are places you shouldn’t be standing, know if there are stages of the fight which will be more heal intensive then others. I guarantee you that if you have a healer that walks into a fight knowing how it works, and then you have a healer that is just gonna wing it, that the prepared healer will have higher odds of surviving, and will perform to a high enough degree to make his raid members take note of him and remember him for future content.

    2: Remember that you have to make a reputation for yourself. Unless cross server, random dungeon finders become implemented, you are part of a limited community. As you level up and go through raid progression, everyone you run with will remember you. Yes, that’s right, they WILL remember for the most part. Healers and Tanks are something people pay attention to, because there are so few of them in general and even fewer that are good at their job! So if you show your **** and do a good job in every dungeon, people you run with will remember that, and will mention you to their friends/guildies if they find themselves looking for a good healer. So don’t just float through every dungeon, flaunt your **** and show just how good a healer you are when you group up with people!

    3: BE AWARE! Not just of the tanks health bar, and not just of the parties, but of everything. It is an easy trap to fall into as a healer to just stare at health bars and forget about the rest of the screen out there. But there is important info out there sometimes, like chat channel where someone yells out that there are adds coming, or you look over and see a patrol everyone forgot about crawling up your ***. Know your surroundings and don’t forget that the rest of the screen exists outside those health bars!

    4: Remember that there is more to healing then just keeping the tank up. Yes, he should be your priority, but you should also do everything you can to be both aware of when dps takes damage, and do everything you can to keep them standing. Throw a HoT on them, throw an insta heal, give them anything you can afford to, because if your DPS dies, it makes boss fights last longer, and potentially be unbeatable depending on the fight and how early you let that DPS die in the fight!

    5: Know thy Cooldowns! Especially when entering a boss fight! Know how long it takes for a cooldown to cycle through, so you know if you can afford to use a skill early on, or if there are specific stages of the fight you should save those “OH ****” buttons for! For example, in Foul Cascade, Queen Vallnara impregnates targets causing a mass burst of damage and applying a DoT to them. I found as a Sentinel that the best way to make certain people survive this is with my insta cast heal spell and a HoT, but the insta cast is on a cooldown. So the first time I ran the dungeon I was using it in my tank healing rotation, and ended up with a dead dps because I didn’t have the tool I needed, at the time I needed it. So Know Thy Cooldowns!

    Healer Do Not’s!

    1: Develop a God complex. If you start lording over your party how you are the one who chooses who lives and dies and how they are all worthless compared to you, you will not have a fun run, you will piss off your party, and will end up with a terrible rep.

    2: Think everyone but the tank is expendable. Yes I know I covered this above, but it’s important damnit! Too many healers just say **** IT and let the DPS die at the drop of a hat without any effort at keeping them standing. Those DPS are needed in many occasions, so keep them standing! Don’t endanger the tanks life to do so, but make sure you give them every chance at survival that you can!

    3: Feel guilty about the DPS who keeps attacking off target dieing over and over. Yes, I knowI just said above that you have to try to keep everyone standing, but if someone is asking for it, let them have it! Tanks mark targets and list priority so DPS know who to attack to avoid drawing aggro. If the DPS in question thinks he is superman and won’t do as he is asked, and keeps shooting whoever he damn well pleases, well stand back and find out if he really is ten feet tall and bulletproof. After he dies and goes “WTF WHY DID YOU LET ME DIE NEWB?!” Just tell him you assumed he had self heals since he ignored the tanks marks and tried to dps tank.

    4: Get upset at being blamed for failure. This is a constant pain in the *** for both healers and tanks. We CONSTANTLY receive the blame for when things go wrong, and only occasionally get the credit for an awesome run. So develop a thick skin, and shrug off nerd rage.

    5: Begin thinking of yourself as the elite **** of the walk. If you go into a group and they wipe on one of the first pulls because of a simple mistake, don’t go all “WTF YOU GUYZ ARE NEWBZ I AM OUTTA HERE LOZERZ!” and rage quit the group. Even though we all get the urge to do something like that from time to time, this will quickly land you with a reputation as an elitist *******, and will make it hard for you to get groups the longer this reputation grows. Remember, so long as all your groups are off a single server, the people you yell at are able to tell their friends about this ******bag healer they ran with, and then if those friends are putting together a group and see you advertising LFG, will remember that you were a ******* to their friends and ignore you in favor of someone else.

    As with Terminology, if I think of more stuff you should or should not do I will add them to the list, so feel free to suggest items and check back later to see if any additions have been made.

    Expectations and Summary:

    No one dies, no one even gets close, it’s a perfect run. No one says a damn thing to you except “good group”. That is what you can expect from a GOOD run.

    There is one full party wipe, and a few DPS drop along the way as well. After the full party wipe you see “OMFG WTF ARE YOU DOING?! DID YOUR MOM F#$% A DONKEY TO MAKE A ******* LIKE YOU?!” That is what can come up on your screen from a bad run.

    Now notice the difference? Extreme rage if you make a mistake, almost nothing if you do a good job. People EXPECT a healer to be skilled, and to not make mistakes. Now by no means am I claiming this will happen all the time, because that is not so. You will have runs where you make mistakes, and the whole party just says “Hey mistakes happen!” and you will have awesome runs where someone tells you “Awesome heals dude!” and those are the moments that make the game for a healer. I know I always enjoy having someone tell me they appreciate the effort I put into my healing, just like I know tanks and dps enjoy it when I tell them they did an awesome job in a dungeon. You will have ups and downs, but FAR MORE as a healer then you would as anything this side of a tank.

    Now it may seem unfair to you that people EXPECT that you be an awesome healer all the time, and that it is simply assumed that you will not make mistakes. But don’t see it that way, perceive it as a compliment. Because this perception has been built by the fact that only the competent, attentive gamers are able to survive playing the role of healer for any length of time without burning out. Piss poor healers either don’t give a damn and keep doing it despite how much they suck and ignore all the rage, or they stop doing it early on. The truly GOOD healers are recognized by their guilds and raids by the fact that they persevere in spite of any rage they get, and despite how difficult their task is in the party.

    So that is the best tip that I can give ANY healer, find a good guild. If you want to hardcore heal, find a guild with people who you like, and who have an attitude towards gaming you agree with, because I assure you, any guild out there is always willing to look at accepting a skilled healer, and you will always have people willing to lend you a hand with things, just to stay on your good side!

    So that is all I have for this overview on the basics of the world of healing! If you like the article please feel free to contact me at www.pallysplace@gmail.com or on the forums from my website www.pallysplace.com with any suggestions for additions or future topics you would like to see covered.

  2. #2
    Plane Walker Falcon's Avatar
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    Hey, nice post. I can tell you have had a lot of experience as a healer.

    I'm not sure how many people will actually have need of such a detailed guide, but it was cool of you to post it anyway.

    Healers +1

  3. #3
    Rift Disciple
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    Best tip to being a pro healer = find a pro tank.
    Best tip to being a pro tank = find a pro healer.

    Its the healers fault if the tank dies, the tanks fault if the healer dies. Usually if one or the other one dies the whole party will soon follow.

    tank + healer =/= a good group like the OP said you need those DPSers and CCers to make a dungeon possible.

    Always thank your tank and expect to be thanked / complimented in return while you both listen to the DPSers preen and strut.

  4. #4
    Plane Touched Paladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sresk View Post
    Best tip to being a pro healer = find a pro tank.
    Best tip to being a pro tank = find a pro healer.

    Its the healers fault if the tank dies, the tanks fault if the healer dies. Usually if one or the other one dies the whole party will soon follow.

    tank + healer =/= a good group like the OP said you need those DPSers and CCers to make a dungeon possible.

    Always thank your tank and expect to be thanked / complimented in return while you both listen to the DPSers preen and strut.
    Yes, the healer tank relationship definately needs to be strong.

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